Audi would like to have the Q2 and Q4 names up its sleeve as it expands its SUV offerings, but the badges are currently owned by Fiat Chrysler, and the Italian-American concern isn’t going to relent without a fight.
Car magazine claims that Audi has approached Fiat Chrysler about acquiring the rights to both the Q2 and Q4 badges, but was rebuffed.
An anonymous source told the UK publication: “In an ideal world, Q1 would be reserved for an even smaller crossover derived from the next A1. The Q4 suffix would come handy to fill the void between Q3 and Q5.”
Audi board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg told CarAdvice at last week’s Detroit motor show that the naming rights issue was central to the reason the company is calling its compact model the Q1 in two years’ time, and is now looking into an SUV version of the TT instead of a potential Q4.
The small Audi Q1 (above) has been confirmed for a 2016 launch and will sit atop the Volkswagen Group’s MQB front-engine, front- and all-wheel-drive architecture. MQB will eventually underpin products as small as the next-generation Volkswagen Polo and Audi A1, as well as cars as large as the Passat.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piech have a fractious history. In 2011, Piech told journalists that if he was in charge of Alfa Romeo, he could quadruple its sales.
Marchionne rebuffed earlier attempts by Volkswagen to buy the storied Italian marque, stating simply that “as long as I am CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, Mr Piech will never have Alfa Romeo”.
The Q2 and Q4 nameplates were last used by Alfa Romeo to denote variants of the 147, GT and 159 ranges. More recently, the Q4 badge has also been used on all-wheel-drive variants of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte.